GCC States Witness Robust Annual Growth in Project Contract Awards in 2023

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The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries experienced a substantial surge in project contract awards during 2023, with MEED magazine reporting an impressive 88% annual growth, totaling over $205 billion. This remarkable increase not only shattered previous records but also showcased the resilience and dynamism of the region’s construction and development sectors.

Record-Breaking Performance in 2023:
According to data from MEED Projects, which meticulously monitors regional project activities, the GCC countries reached a new pinnacle in project awards during 2023. The total surpassed the 2022 figure of approximately $109 billion by an astonishing 88%, also marking an 18% increase over the previous record set in 2014 when project awards amounted to $173 billion.

Comparing the recent surge to the 2014 boom, it’s noteworthy that the 2023 activity occurred despite the lower price of Brent crude, standing at around $80 per barrel, compared to the $100 per barrel in 2014. This underscores the robustness of the current economic landscape and the diverse sectors contributing to the growth.

Exceptional Regional Contributions:
The heart of this unprecedented wave of project awards lies in the exceptional performance of two key GCC nations—Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These countries contributed significantly to the overall surge, with project contracts valued at $92 billion and $78 billion, respectively.

Saudi Arabia’s surge in project activity is in alignment with the ambitious goals of Vision 2030, driving substantial investments in energy infrastructure. Simultaneously, the UAE experienced a construction activity rebound, coupled with renewed investments in hydrocarbon exploration.

Qatar secured the third position in terms of project market activity, with significant gas contracts valued at $19 billion. Kuwait followed closely as the fourth most active market, boasting contracts worth $8.2 billion. Oman and Bahrain secured awards valued at $6.6 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively, highlighting the widespread nature of the growth across the GCC.

Regional Impact and MENA-Level Performance:
The broader impact of this surge is felt at the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) level, where MEED Projects reported a record-breaking performance for project activity over the past 12 months. The GCC markets, in particular, played a pivotal role, with contractors securing an impressive $254 billion in project awards during 2023.

The robust annual growth in project contract awards across the GCC countries in 2023 reflects the resilience, strategic vision, and diversified economic strengths of the region. As the GCC nations continue to invest in transformative projects, the construction and development sectors are set to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the Gulf region, fostering economic growth, and contributing to global development trends.

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